Nielsen: Ad Spend In First Half Of 2007 Tumbles

The latest Nielsen Company report confirms what other research companies have revealed--advertising spending is in a weakened state.

The big research company says that for the first half of 2007, ad spending slipped 0.5% versus the same time period for 2006. Not surprisingly, the Internet led the way--again--as the most improved category, up 23.6% versus a year ago.

On the losing end were some long-suffering print categories: Local newspapers were down 8%; national newspapers fell 5.9%; business-to-business magazines were off 5.7%; local magazines tumbled 5.2%; and local Sunday supplements gave away 4.7%.

Many of the TV platforms were also in the red, with spot TV taking the worst hit--down 4.6%. Network TV didn't have much to cheer about either; it was off 3.8%. Cable TV was the least hit, slipping just 0.3%. One bright spot for TV was the spot TV business in small markets--DMAs 101 to 210--up 3.2%.

On the upswing was the continued strong performer, outdoor media, which climbed 5.1%, due to its continued deployment of new digital technology. National magazines also showed strong life--after some recent rough-and-tumble periods, up 8.4%.



Many individual advertisers had mixed spending results. Industry ad spending leader Procter & Gamble slipped 1.4% to $1.66 billion. No. 2 spender General Motors continued to show its weakness, down a massive 27.7% to $954 million. Among the top 10 leaders, Ford Motor showed gains, up 2.1% to $871 million; Verizon Communications, a 2.7% hike to $733 million; and Kraft Foods, a slight uptick at 0.4% to $608 million.

Spending movement in the top 10 ad categories was generally split. Five were down--automotive (10%), auto dealerships (5%), restaurants (2%), department stores (7%), and restaurants (2%). Businesses on the rise included pharmaceuticals (7%), movies (1%), wireless communications (6%), and direct response (7%). Furniture stores were flat.

Nielsen also surveyed the product placement activity for the period - which showed the business soared 19% to 17,371 occurrences for the top ten network TV shows. Once again industry leader, Fox' "American Idol" grew 4,349 occurrences from 4,086 the year before. Second place to "Idol" was the poorly rated but high product placement show, "Fast Cars and Superstars" on ABC.

Coca-Cola was again the dominant overall product placer, thanks to its "Idol" association, with 3,054. A long way back, in second place, was "Pussycat Dolls Lounge Nightclub" with 750 occurrences, all due to the CW's "The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll."

TLC had the most product placement of any cable network, with five shows in the top 10, including cable show leader "American Chopper." Others from the network included "Overhaulin," "Miami Ink," "American Hot Rod" and "Little People Big World."

A&E was the next-best, with "Dog The Bounty Hunter" in second place and "Driving Force" in fifth. MTV's "Runs House," in seventh place, and "Real World Road Rules Challenge," in 10th place, and Bravo's "Real Housewives of Orange County," in eighth place, completed the top 10.

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